- Item #: i_351569Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 90-92 PointsThe march of time continues unabated as spring starts its sublime sojourn toward summer. Warm days may meet some rain and still-chilly nights as Mother Nature sorts her wardrobe, not quite ready for the full warmth of the sun. As always, our palates, plates and pantries reflect the current climes, reflecting and reacting to how the mercury moves. We strive each month to find a wine that matches the mood of the weather as well as the call of the calendar. And this month, we found a crowd-pleasing winner of a wine that will pair with all of the above.
A blend of Grenache and Syrah (50/50), the grapes are sourced from vineyards on the left bank of the Rhône River, grown on alluvial and gravelly soils.
Mixed red and black fruits fill the nose as secondary notes of incense, cedar and forest floor resolve to hints of rose petal, mulberry and a touch of herbal influence. Dark black fruits, black berries and blackcurrant, are balanced by silky tannins. Layers of dark spices and earth uplift the dark fruits as they crest the wave of the finish, slowly receding yet flavorful still. Pair with spring lamb, Easter banquets, hearty stews or hard cheeses. Remember, it's never too early to warm up the grill for summer!
Remember, it's never to early to warm up the grill for summer!
JEB DUNNUCK 90-92 POINTS -"The 2016 Côtes du Rhône Samorens is a 50/50 split of Grenache and Syrah that’s completely unoaked and brought up all in concrete. Rounded, sexy and even voluptuous, with terrific purity in its black raspberry, violet and incense aromatics, this medium to full-bodied beauty has no hard edges, silky tannin and a great finish."
- Item #: i_311337Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The finest vintage to date is unquestionably the 2016 Gigondas Terrasses de Diable, which is the usual blend of 85% Grenache and the balance Mourvèdre and Cinsault. It offers classic framboise, limestone-like minerality, white flowers, pepper, and Asian spices in its full-bodied, seamless, incredibly pure personality. With no hard edges, ultra-fine tannins, perfect balance, and a great finish, it's a sensational Gigondas to drink over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_351564Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is up with the crème de la crème of the vintage and in the same league as the perfect 2010. Awesome notes of blackberries, crème de cassis, charred meats, licorice, and violets all soar from the glass. It's powerful, opulent, and structured, with building tannin, a huge mid-palate, and a blockbuster finish, yet it never loses its sense of purity and elegance. It's an incredible achievement from this estate. The blend is 45% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah, all aged in 55% new French oak."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "A terrific effort, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah. It's dense and rich almost beyond belief, packed with super ripe fruit that comes dangerously close to being chocolaty and fudge-like, yet it retains a sense of balance. Earth, spice and dark fruit notes linger for minutes on the long, tannic finish. Give it at least a couple of years in the cellar, and drink it over the next decade and a half. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."
- Item #: i_350311Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 92One of the greatest things about the nearly perfect 2016 vintage in the Rhone Valley is that the quality is not only relegated to the higher priced cuvees. The hype of the vintage is justified and the wines are undeniably pleasing. Case in point is the Grand Veneur Champauvins from the humble Cotes du Rhone appellation. This "Baby Chateauneuf" is an amazing wine displaying persistent, deeply fruited deliciousness that just won't quit!
The Wine Advocate gave this wine 92 Points in its glowing review and said this wine is "Worth buying by the case." Wine Spectator also gave this wine 92 Points and called it, "A terrific value."
Other quotes by the critics include:
"This is the poor person's Chateauneuf du Pape" - Robert Parker
"A big, brash mouthful of fruit...as always, it's a terrific value" - Wine Spectator
"It's a full-bodied, concentrated wine that could mop the floor with many Chateauneufs" - Wine Advocate
The consistent theme amongst critics and us here at Hi-Time is this is seriously good juice for under $18.00! It's really easy to understand why. The grapes are sourced from a single vineyard plot known for its quality, which is located just outside the boundary of the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. This means we can enjoy an excellent wine at a fraction of the price of its famous neighbor.
This delicious, crowd-pleasing wine is one to grab by the case to share with friends and family.
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Capable of rivaling many wines from neighboring Châteauneuf du Pape, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone les Champauvins (tasted as a tank sample) is a big, brash mouthful of fruit but one that's not without nuance. Hints of licorice, cracked pepper and garrigue all come into play, along with a bit of warmth on the long, mouthwatering finish. Supple tannins make it approachable now, but it should easily drink well for 6 years, if not more. As always, it's a terrific value."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Now that it's in the bottle, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone les Champauvins is looking as good as I predicted last year. It's a full-bodied, concentrated wine that could mop the floor with many Châteauneufs. Rich black cherry fruit is joined by complex herb and spice notes, a creamy mid-palate and a lingering finish. Worth buying by the case."
- Item #: i_351917Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Moving to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape from bottle, the 2016 vintage was described as having the power of 2010 and similar to yet fresher than 2007. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers a great bouquet of black raspberries, tapenade, crushed violets, and spring flowers, and shares lots of similarities to the Chaupin cuvée (and it’s less expensive!). Full-bodied, incredibly elegant and seamless, it might be the finest traditional cuvée ever produced from this estate."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape exhibits more dark fruit than I would've expected, with black cherries, black olives and tar all mingling on the nose. In the mouth, the blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault is full-bodied, rich and velvety, with a lush, lingering finish. Easy to drink now, it should age for at least a decade just on its sheer concentration and ripeness. Although I showed up considerably late for my appointment with the brother-sister team of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, Christophe wore his customary, irrepressible smile. The French soccer team was ahead in their World Cup match, and he was showing off the domaine's stellar 2016s. "It's my father's 50th harvest," he said. "And he thinks it's the best. It's incredible because you have power, finesse and acidity."
- Item #: i_351741Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95-97Wine Spectator: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 98-100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97-100 POINTS - "Made with close to 50% stems (the highest in a while) and brought up in foudre and demi-muids (20% new), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin sports deep ruby/purple color as well as sensational notes of kirsch liqueur, black raspberries, crushed flowers, crushed rocks, and incense. Just a huge, rich, unctuous wine, it offers everything you could want from Grenache and is certainly going to challenge the 2007 and 2010 as the greatest expression of this terroir to date. "
WINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS - "Tasted from a single foudre representing the La Crau Est lieu-dit, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin comes across as even richer and creamier than the 2015, yet with brighter acids and similar spice. Red fruit lingers, morphing toward chocolate as the finish goes on and on. Christophe Sabon describes the 2015s as well balanced and says, "They're not as intense as '16 or '10, but very interesting." He says he's aiming to achieve balance between power, elegance and ripe tannins. For me, the 2015s fit these criteria well at this estate. He adds, "To keep Grenache alone, you must be on sandy soils." Those, of course, are the basis for the family's Cuvée Chaupin and their new Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Clos Saint Antontin."
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Delightful plum, raspberry and blackberry compote flavors form the core, with racy, graphite-edged structure running underneath. Dark anise and tobacco notes check in throughout. The long finish lets the fruit linger."
- Item #: i_350862Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Wine Spectator: 97Decanter: 96 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 98-100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 98-100 POINTS - "Incorporating 8% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah and 5% other permitted variety, 60% destemmed, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes sports a deep, inky color as well as sensational notes of black currants, smoked meats, earth and crushed rocks. Deep, rich, unctuous and decadent, with huge extract and richness, yet never over the top or overripe, it's a killer wine that's going to flirt with perfection on release."
WINE SPECTATOR 97 POINTS - "This is packed with plum, raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors that are youthfully wound up, while warm stone, anise, bay leaf, garrigue and tar notes fill in throughout. Dense but juicy, with a long, smoldering feel on the finish."
- Item #: i_351254Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS: "Also deeply colored, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sables de La Crau is 100% Grenache from sandy soils, and it was raised all in demi-muids. With a huge nose of blueberries, crushed flowers, cedarwood, and baking spice, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, silky style, no hard edges, beautiful purity of fruit, and a great, great finish. It's one of the most profound wines I've tasted from this estate."
- Item #: i_351137Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Wine Spectator: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "One of the few estates where the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape actually eclipses the 2016, this is a top-flight effort. Black cherries and red raspberries combine with dried spices in a complex swirl of fruity and savory elements, garnished with sprigs of garrigue. Full-bodied, round and rich, this velvety wine should drink well through at least 2035."
JEB DUNNUCK 95+ POINTS - "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is a beautiful, elegant wine that also makes the most of this terrific vintage. Deep, rich, yet fabulously pure notes of blackcurrants, ground pepper, garrigue, and crushed flowers all emerge from the glass, followed by medium to full body, a stacked mid-palate, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. It's still backward and holding things a little close to its vest, yet it's a magical wine in the making. Give bottles 3-5 years of cellaring (although it's far from unapproachable today) and enjoy over the following two decades. It's as classic as it gets. The 2017 is a classic blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and the balance Cinsault, brought up all in foudre."
- Item #: i_333709Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS: "The young estate has turned out some crazy good 2016s, including the "basic" 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of 90% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Syrah, all from the lieu-dit of Grand Pierre. Aged in concrete and neutral barrels, it shows terrific balance, matching black cherries and raspberries with hints of garrigue, and ample weight and richness on the palate with fine, silky tannins. Concentrated, flavorful and long, this should be available for around $50, making it a relative bargain."
- Item #: i_333710Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95-98WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS: "The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Petits Pieds d'Armand comes from a parcel of Grenache originally planted at the end of the 19th century in a sandy part of La Crau. It's Hillaire's flagship, and it merits its status this vintage, where it shines with raspberry fruit and layers of dried spice complexity. It's full-bodied and rich yet silky, elegant and long on the finish, epitomizing the delicious contradictions that Grenache can present."
- Item #: i_351353Bottle Size: 750mlVINOUS 96-98 POINTS - "Dark purple. A highly expressive, mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh blackberry and blueberry, candied flowers, incense and exotic spices. Sweet, palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur and violet pastille flavors are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper and bitter chocolate; a spicecake nuance gains strength with aeration. Steadily building tannins add shape and grip to the extremely long, incisive finish, which emphatically repeats the floral and mineral notes. I wouldn't be surprised to see this wine turn out as well as the amazing 2015 version."
JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS - "The flagship 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle is slightly more focused and concentrated, yet is still one sexy red that shines in the vintage. Inky colored, with loads of toasted spices, smoked meats and graphite characteristics, it has full-bodied richness, a terrific core of ripe Syrah fruit, fine tannin, and a great finish. Give it 2-4 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following two decades."
WINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS - "Winemaker Jacques Devernois likens the 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle to a woman’s red dress, calling it charming and flashy. It looks like it will appeal young, as this prospective sample had ample concentration but was also supple in feel. Hints of smoke, crushed stone and pencil shavings frame cassis fruit in this full-bodied and creamy-textured wine. It finishes long, with hints of vanilla and great freshness. (JC)
- Item #: i_351565Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Decanter: 97 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and graphite all emerge from this tight, full-bodied, concentrated and backward Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Possessing incredible purity of fruit, a concentrated yet fresh, structured profile, and a huge finish, it just needs time to shine. 97+"
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Almost entirely Grenache, from parcels planted in 1901 and 1902, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale is a stunner. Scents of roses, black tea and raspberries set the scene, while the palate is full-bodied but silky and nearly weightless, delivering an intricate, detailed interplay of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest. Despite what must be 15% alcohol or more, it shows absolutely no sign of heat."
DECANTER 95 POINTS - "This has a distinct old-vine vinosity on the nose. Very full-bodied, searching and intense on the palate, shot through with ample, very ripe suede-like tannins. Powerful, regal stuff, albeit with slightly raised alcohol, but the overall effect is in balance, with a long finish. Restrained power."
- Item #: i_352717Bottle Size: 750mlJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets is a winner in this great vintage. Blackcurrants, black olives, licorice, and peppery notes all flow to a ripe, sexy, opulent Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has terrific purity, ripe tannin, and a great finish. It's a no-brainer purchase."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Tasted blind, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape les Olivets shows gorgeous aromas of purple raspberries and garrigue. Full-bodied and even a bit chewy, it picks up hints of mocha and licorice on the long finish. It's a blend of 80% Grenache and 10% each Cinsault and Syrah, matured in foudres and oak vats."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Juicy and ripe, with a delicious core of red and black currant and raspberry fruit that has delightful energy, studded liberally with anise, roasted apple wood and graphite notes. The long finish shows a tug of earth and a light floral gilding. Best from 2019 through 2030. 392 cases imported."
- Item #: i_323178Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 90WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Full-bodied and velvety, Sabon's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve is a step up from the les Olivets bottling and probably represents the best value in the 2016 lineup. Tasted blind, it showcases ripe dark plum and cola but also super ripe Grenache notes of apricot and delicate hints of garrigue, then it turns rich and chewy on the long finish. It's 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, matured in a mix of foudres and oak vats."
- Item #: i_352719Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Wine Spectator: 95Decanter: 94 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Prestige checks in as 75% Grenache and the balance mostly Syrah and smaller parts of other permitted varieties. Crème de cassis, olive tapenade, smoked herbs, and licorice notes all emerge from this remarkably pure, seamless, gorgeously refined and elegant Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It shows slightly more Syrah character, has a multi-dimensional texture, and a layered, elegant style that just begs to be drunk. It can be drunk today or cellared for 15 years or more."
WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Sourced from the lieux-dits of Les Brusquières and Cabrières, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% other varieties. Tasted blind, it's a big, full-bodied, lush wine. Powered by bold cherry and stone fruit, it shows hints of pepper and clove complexity, plus vibrant citrus zest notes on the long, electric finish. Wow."
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Intense, with a racy and focused beam of raspberry coulis, cherry preserve and blackberry paste flavors driving through, laced with mouthwatering anise, black tea and singed apple wood notes. The long, graphite-edged finish shows terrific energy. Best from 2020 through 2040."
- Item #: i_333907Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96WINE ADVOCATE 94 - 96 POINTS - "Blended, but still aging in barrel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape will likely be bottled in March 2019. Brandied cherries and dried spices mark the nose of this full-bodied, plush wine. It's slightly warm, and certainly rich, but it remains fresh and long on the finish. It should be a beauty."
- Item #: i_333908Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 92 Points"Unquestionably one of the reference point estates, not only for Gigondas, but for the entire Southern Rhone" - Jeb Dunnuck
"Louis Barruol remains the acknowledged leader of the Gigondas AOC. The vigneron keeps Chateau de St.-Cosme operating on the highest level" - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
"These single vineyard releases are year in, year out, some of the most impressive wines from the Rhone valley." - Wine Advocate
We just received a limited allocation from the iconic Rhone producer, Chateau de Saint Cosme. These critically acclaimed wines consistently receive high praise and scores from wine critics. The Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck and Decanter Magazine all weighed in on these amazing wines from the excellent 2016 vintage.
Chateau de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the benchmark wines of the appellation. The property has been in the hands of the Barruol family since 1570. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992 making a dramatic shift to quality and converting to biodynamics in 2010.
Barruol makes a classic Gigondas as well as three amazing single vineyard releases from the estate which lies in the heart of Gigondas. The vineyards grow in the shade of the Dentelles de Montmirail Mountains and benefited from the ideal 2016 vintage which boasted warm, dry days balanced by cool nights. The wines are not destemmed and are aged mostly in older barrels, with a small portion in new barrels." These wines are singular and the depth of flavor of these cuvees are truly something to behold.
These are world-class wines and this is a great opportunity to grab a few bottles for the cellar. The highly desirable wines from Saint Cosme are very limited. When they're gone, they're gone!
JEB DUNNUCK 90-92 POINTS - "Looking first at the base 2016 Gigondas, it’s certainly going to be another outstanding wine from Barruol. Based on 70% Grenache and the rest close to an even split of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it offers classic St Cosme notes of dark fruits, tapenade, pepper and smoked earth. It has plenty of tannin and will need 2-3 years of cellaring and shine for a decade or more. Louis Barruol’s Chateau de Saint Cosme is unquestionably one of the reference point estates in Gigondas, as well as the entire southern Rhône Valley. The estate lies just to the east of the village and covers 25 hectares, with 15 of those in Gigondas. He makes a classic Gigondas as well as four single vine releases from single vineyards located around the estate. The wines are not destemmed and aged mostly in older barrels, with a small portion in new barrels.
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Even Saint Cosme's 2016 Gigondas looks built to age. It's full-bodied and firmly tannic but balanced by ripe fruit notes of cherries, peaches and chocolate. (JC) It is always fun to taste with the energetic Louis Barruol in his Roman-era cellar. There seems to be a nearly endless supply of wines to taste, as he now produces five different Gigondas and numerous bottlings under his négociant label."
- Item #: i_351568Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It's full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky, with no hard edges and beautiful balance. Checking in as a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre brought up in older foudre, don't miss this beauty!"
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "More flattering and easier to drink than the La Louisiane at this stage, the 2016 Gigondas Classique Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, all aged in foudres. Hints of mocha and caramel add sweet richness to the ripe black cherry flavors and notes of mushroom, chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied, creamy textured and richly concentrated, it's long and velvety on the finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."